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Re: NIS anyone?

I've used svn (subversion) to administer Cygwin installations on many
machines (particularly ones I do not have physical access to...) to an
effect that may be an acceptable compromise to you.

For my machines, each Cygwin installation is a working copy checkout
owned by SYSTEM, and I have an hourly SYSTEM cron job that runs "svn
update /" and a few installation-specific maintenance scripts.  This
allows me to maintain system configurations (including /etc/passwd)
through "svn merge" operations performed from an administrative
working copy (many, many cool subversion tricks can be used here).  To
maintain sanity, I store only configuration data and site-specific
binaries in the repository--I use the term "overlay" to describe the
set of files a repository stores for a given installation.

In my organization, I give each machine a different branch of the
repository (this allows me to tweak them individually), but it would
be trivial to make a group of identical machines share the same

I've even set up an internal Cygwin mirror that presents this system
as a Cygwin package, called "submerge."  To install on a new
workstation, I install the package (which includes all of the other
Cygwin packages that I may need), and run "submerge
stations/station-name" as an administrator, which (insert black magic
here) downloads the relevant overlay, applies the overlay to /, and
then invokes overlay-specific post-installation scripts.

I can give more pointers on this system if anyone is interested.


On 12/22/05, Andrew DeFaria <> wrote:
> I have not been able to find a Cygwin/NIS package. Does it exist?
> In discussing distribution of Cygwin throughout the organization with a
> colleague we got to talking about how to best configure Cygwin for
> people who use laptops or otherwise do remote computing. We'd like to
> have an environment where user accounts are known on the various Windows
> boxes so that people can telnet/rsh/ssh into other peoples boxes however
> in order to do that one needs a proper login. The situation with
> mkpasswd command updating /etc/passwd, for example, is not very feasible
> in large domains with frequent additions and deletions and huge
> /etc/passwd files. I got to thinking that didn't we already address such
> issues of trying to replicate large and changing config files with NIS?!?
> Now NIS is normally associated with just Unix domains and Cygwin runs on
> Windows but many shops are mixed shops with Windows, Unix and Linux on
> the same network.
> In thinking about NIS I think it would be ideal if the user could
> compose a passwd file of say:
>     $ mkpasswd -l > /etc/passwd
>     $ echo "+" >> /etc/passwd
> IOW "Make an /etc/passwd (and other files: /etc/group, etc.) then tell
> the system to go to NIS for all of the domain user accounts".
> Additionally what if there were an ActiveDirectory module such that you
> could configure nsswitch.conf to say, essentially, go to ActiveDirectory
> first, failing that the Unix NIS server and failing that use the local
> files. This would be ideal, especially for people with laptops or who
> use VPN, etc.
> Is there any plans on implementing NIS under Cygwin (even lacking an
> ActiveDirectory component)?
> --
> Do I BELIEVE in the Bible? Hell, I've actually SEEN one!
> --
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